I finished M’s tepee! It’s for her birthday, though, so now it’s sitting in the closet for the next two months and a bit. I’d like to make a coordinating cushion to go inside, along with a small length of bunting to decorate the outside, so my work isn’t done yet. It’s hard to wait to give it to her, though! She likes playing in her Pack ‘n’ Play as long as I put a muslin blanket over the top, to make it feel like a little cave — so I think she’s going to have fun with her tepee.
I used this tutorial, although I did a few small things differently. I made the opening by cutting two separate pieces for the front panel and then seaming them together. Then I could fold and press the edges and hem them under, which gave a nice finish along the entire length without having to fuss with bias tape. I’d also recommend not wrapping the rope around the dowels until you have the fabric on them and you’ve got the tepee all set up. You won’t know exactly how wide the dowels have to be splayed out until you’ve got the fabric on, and the rope will make it hard to adjust them. (If you look at step one of that tutorial, you’ll see how the dowels are held together by threading the rope through drilled holes, but the wrapping it mostly just decorative.
I’m having mixed feelings about whether to attempt a party for M’s birthday. First birthday parties are definitely NOT for the child, but I do think it would be fun to celebrate her awesomeness with other people (no official party will probably mean just my parents and I to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her). It’s hard to expect people to drive all the way out here, though, especially for something like a first birthday party. What do you think? Did you throw parties for your kids before they were old enough to understand them? I feel like it would be mainly for the photos and, like I said, to celebrate what a cool little girl M is.